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Keeping Pace with DigitalDisruption.com

Here are some of the past week's highlights from DigitalDisruption.com, Acquia's portal for examining the impact of digital disruption.
T-Commerce? Meet tvbay
If you tuned in to this year’s Super Bowl, you saw H&M’s commercial that enabled viewers to make purchases through their television based on what David Beckham was wearing during the clip.
This new, “t-commerce” platform is something that brands are exploring, but few are delivering because smart TVs that enable these transactions are still in the early stages of... More

SXSWi Top Tips Part 2: Once You’re There

Welcome to Part 2 of my SXSWi Top Tips series. If you missed it, check out Part 1 which covers how to prepare before you arrive in Austin; it’s not a conference where you can just throw some clothes in a bag and go.
So now you’re packed, you’ve done your research, and you’ve got a plan. Great!
Now get ready to throw it out the window.
Part Two: Austin
1. The Panels: Quality Speaker Trumps All - So now you’ve arrived in Austin, you’ve checked in to your hotel, gotten your badge and now you’re off to check out your first... More

Lukas Smith on open source communication, PHPCR, and more


Part 1 of 2 - I had the great pleasure of speaking with Lukas Smith at SymfonyCon Warsaw in December, 2013. Lukas is a major contributor to open source and is involved in a range of projects, including the Symfony framework, Drupal, and many more. He is one of the 50 most active contributors on GitHub. Thank you, Lukas!

How do you contribute so much?

About his contribution he says, "I don't know how I got to that number. I try to comment on tickets, try to network people, to encourage them to talk ... I guess it's mostly commenting. I guess I do... More

Financial services is changing, and staying the same.

Post financial crisis, Financial Services Institutions (FSIs) are determined to change. Their motivation lies not just in regaining the trust of a public that has shored up the industry, but also the same goal that they have always had, to find new ways to create products and sell products to generate return for their shareholders.
FSIs have always grasped the nettle of innovation. In my career I’ve seen that they are often the first to deploy cutting edge technologies to gain competitive edge. You could argue that it was the drive for innovation (but without transparency) that provoked the... More

Using Adaptive Images in Drupal

Cross-posted with permission from Outlier.com
Responsive, mobile-first web design is the latest trend to take hold of the web design community, and with good reason. With the advent of the mobile OS as a mainstream portal through which people are increasingly connecting to the internet, the needs of these users--and those of the relatively nascent tablet market--are becoming increasingly important. But rather than creating "mobile" versions of websites, which are often riddled with compromise, responsive... More

5 Mistakes to Avoid on your Drupal Website - Number 4: Infrastructure

In previous articles in this series, we’ve covered the areas of architecture, security and performance. All of these aspects are affected by your infrastructure from the time of development to deployment. 

Infrastructure covers the stack your website lives on, including the server, the database and any software layers, such as Varnish or Memcached which... More

Survival Tips from a SXSW Pro: Part 1

No matter how you approach it, SXSW is a vast matrix of possibilities spread over several square miles of Austin and environs over several days. To get the most out of it, you need to prepare early and thoroughly. In the immediate gratification era in which we live, I wish I could simply tell you, “There’s an app for that.” But while there are many apps which will make your life easier (and some which will be indispensable at least for the Interactive portion), there’s no substitute for doing your homework for this one.

What follows are a few pieces of advice I’d give you if you were going... More

Keeping Pace with DigitalDisruption.com

Here are some of the past week's highlights from DigitalDisruption.com, Acquia's portal for examining the impact of digital disruption.
Today’s Brand Must Think Like a Publisher
Content is king. But as the line between publishers and brands are blurring, all brands find themselves in both the content and the commerce games.
As brands, we are sometimes wary of pushing content on our customers. In my experience, however, customers are much less worried about the blurred lines, and much more interested in getting that they want when... More

Drupal 8 Configuration Workflows using Git

This blog post is a textual representation of the video shared yesterday. If you are visual learner, watch it. If you are in a hurry, read this blog :). Peter's video also shows how configuration_log module can be used to materialize all config changes in Prod so they may be easily integrated back into the codebase. That is not covered here.
The following commands are our current best thoughts on how folks will move configuration across environments using Git and... More

Today’s Brand Must Think Like a Publisher

Content is king. But as the line between publishers and brands are blurring, all brands find themselves in both the content and the commerce games.
As brands, we are sometimes wary of pushing content on our customers. In my experience, however, customers are much less worried about the blurred lines, and much more interested in getting that they want when and where they want it. As Alexis Maybank, founder of Gilt Groupe described it,
"If I go into a Restoration Hardware store, for instance, I understand they're selling that product, but I'm not just interested in seeing rows of lamps on... More

Moving Your Drupal 8 Configuration from Local to Server and Back

Update: a textual representation of the first half of this video has been posted.
Two weeks ago I had a great opportunity to spend a few days working with Moshe Weitzman (moshe weitzman), Justin Randell (beejeebus), Alex Bronstein (effulgentsia), and Stéphane Corlosquet (scor) to look at the challenges and best practices for using the new Drupal 8... More

Four Reasons I'm Excited About Attending (my first!) SXSW 2014

Next week I'm attending my first ever South by Southwest in Austin. I'm pretty sure SXSW is the first conference I've ever *attended.* I've worked many conferences either as an exhibitor or speaker, but I've never experienced a conference as an attendee. I'll bring my comfy shoes, plenty of charging devices + cables, lots of business cards, and as much energy as possible to stay out past my usual bedtime of 10pm!
Here's what I'm most looking forward to:
Hearing from the Hacker and the Hustler
I'm really looking forward to watching my colleagues Tom Erickson and Dries... More

You’re Already In The Content Game

Whether the size of your content team is 50 people or zero, you’re already in the content game. If you’re not publishing content, the chances are good that your customers are creating it on your behalf.
The Content Around Us
Apple has no social media presence to speak of. As of this writing, however, there were 173,411 photos on Instagram tagged #applestore and 6,859 tagged #geniusbar. (For the record, there were also six tagged #geniusbarmyass.) While it can be great to have ardent fans of your brand posting flattering content about your brand, that isn’t always what happens.
Trader Joe’s... More

Ryan Weaver and Jeffrey A. McGuire compare notes on Open Source


Ryan Weaver is the single biggest contributor to the Symfony2 framework's documentation (which is excellent, check it out!), a self-described Symfony evangelist, and lead at KnpUniversity.com, makers of fantastic PHP tutorial screencasts like this one on using Composer to include PHP libraries in Drupal 7.

This is part 2 of a 2-part conversation with Ryan Weaver from... More

Using Drupal to Support Web Accessibility in Higher Education

Web accessibility in higher education is not a new topic. For over 15 years most institutions have been working to insure that their web accessibility adheres to the standards and protocols set forth in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1998 (even though 508, as written, does not automatically apply to institutions of higher education, even those that receive federal funding). And certainly before the benchmark of 508 came around colleges and universities have been leaders in making sure that technology usage around campus supported the diverse needs of the entire community. In fact... More

Drupal 8 Module upgrade workshop at Drupal Developer Days in Szeged

Gábor Hojtsy, Jesse Beach (jessebeach), and Jess (xjm) will lead a Drupal 8 module upgrade workshop during Drupal Developer Days in Szeged, Hungary.
Now is the time to start upgrading contributed modules... More

5 Mistakes to Avoid on your Drupal Website - Number 3: Performance


Performance is crucial for providing a great user experience. If the site is slow or balky, even great functionality won’t keep the site visitor engaged.

Photo: The Bad place by NeilsPhotography (CC BY 2.0)
Best Practices

The first action for improving performance is analyzing what the website is doing. With the answer to this question, optimize as much as possible, then implement caching.

Analyze—Tools:
Devel for viewing database queries which run on each... More

Keeping Pace with DigitalDisruption.com

Here are some of the past week's highlights from DigitalDisruption.com, Acquia's portal for examining the impact of digital disruption.
Streetline Wants to Make Smart Cities a Reality
Do you remember the last time you struggled for what seemed like an eternity to find a parking spot? One way streets. No right turn signs. If only there was a better way to find a parking spot. Well, Streetline believes they have the answer. Streetline uses sensors to deliver parking availability data to their app, informing users not only about the... More

Ryan Weaver on synergies in Drupal, Symfony2, and PHP


Part 1 of a 2-part conversation with Ryan Weaver from SymfonyCon Warsaw 2013 in which we touch on the great Symfony documentation and its team, discovering the power of community in open source (instead of doing it all yourself), Symfony2 components in Drupal 8 bringing the two communities together, the advantages (present and future) of loose coupling in Drupal 8's architecture, the next big thing, and more!

Ryan Weaver is the single biggest contributor to the Symfony2 framework's documentation (... More

Announcing Acquia Lift

Topic: DrupalAcquiaToday, the web is not just about publishing content anymore. As the web evolves from content management to digital experience management, it's about understanding visitors' interests and preferences, and figuring out how to deliver them an optimal personalized experience. Many... More

Introducing Acquia Lift: Website Personalization for Drupal Made Easy

Today’s an exciting day for Acquia with the launch of our new product, Acquia Lift. Acquia Lift is a new personalization product designed specifically for Drupal. There are lots of personalization products in the market, and you may even be using one today, but if you are running a Drupal site, you need to take a look at Acquia Lift.
Here are four reasons I’m excited about Lift:
1) Acquia Lift is designed for Drupal
With Acquia Lift, marketers can easily create, iterate, and optimize content directly within Drupal,... More

Don’t wait to migrate. Drupal continuous migration

Whether you are just moving to Drupal or upgrading to a new version of Drupal, if you are starting with an existing website, you are facing the same problem: Your migration timeline. It will take you significant effort to move everything you have to the new system and you cannot play catch-up all the time. That’s why many people are opting for continuous migration. What does that mean? Run the migration project in parallel to your existing website effort and migrate gradually, page by page and URL by URL. New functionality is done in the new system, old functionality stays until it’s time to... More

3 Keys to Taking Your E-Commerce Site Global

Cloud-based platforms and services have made going global more of a plug-and-play proposition than ever before. You can plug specialized modules into your workflow that let you translate content, run analytics, edit across websites and more, without leaving your CMS.
The remaining challenges are more strategic in nature. Here are three things that you should know before diving in:
1. The world doesn’t revolve around the English language
To maximize your website or online business, you need to offer at least two language options to visitors to your site. The global population is not made up of... More

Everything you need to know about naming your Drupal contributed project

So you're contributing a module or theme to the greater Drupal community. Awesome! We're thrilled that you're sharing your work.
Naming your project may be one of the last things on your mind, but a poor naming choice could cause you issues down the road. Your project name ends up in a lot of places, including: Google Search Results, Drupal.org related project listings, the URL to the project, the title of your project page, Drush commands, the filenames of your project files, hook invocations in your project, and CSS classes, to name a few. A name that's used inconsistently can be confusing... More

5 Mistakes to Avoid on your Drupal Website - Number 2: Security


Good security practices protect your site from hacker attacks. In this article we'll look at some methods for reducing security risks on your site. 

Drupal Security Best Practices

Drupal has good security built in if used correctly. However, once you begin to configure your site you might introduce new security issues. Plan configuration so that only trusted users have permissions that involve security risks.

Keep core and contrib modules updated

You may not opt to do some module updates if the fixes or improvements have no direct effect on your site, however you should... More

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